On a less cheerful note, the Oregon Department of Transportation seems hellbent on advancing a major highway project without a full environmental impact study, despite some really troubling signs.
Here’s what we know — and what ODOT surely knows, too:
We know that schools built next to highways pose serious health risks to students, including higher risks for asthma, heart disease, and cancer.
We know that expanding I-5 in the Rose Quarter could make those health risks even worse for students at Harriet Tubman Middle School, where the air outside is already so toxic that students have to limit their playground time. (The air inside the school is filtered.)
We know that about two-thirds of students at Harriet Tubman are students of color, making it one of the few majority-minority schools in Portland.
We know all of that, and yet ODOT’s position seems to be: We know enough to move forward.
The agency has reportedly cooled on the idea of completing a full environmental review and is now considering approving the project as soon as this month.
But the fight isn’t over. Portland Public Schools and other local agencies are pressuring ODOT to pump the brakes, and local students and activists are planning to hold a rally to oppose the project next week.
In other news…
Lloyd Center is open for business this Christmas, but people who work and shop there aren’t sure how long that will last. Big indoor malls are struggling everywhere in America, and Lloyd Center’s plans to buck that trend — like opening a concert venue in place of the old Nordstrom — seem stuck in the mud. The takeaway: Go shop there now if you think you’d miss it. (Willamette Week)
A Portland man with the “world’s best beard” just shaved for the first time in six years. Madison Rowley has won two World Beard Championships (yes, that’s a real thing) since his last shave, but he finally decided to part ways with his iconic beard to raise money for charity. (KGW)
Sad about all the restaurant closures in Portland? The good news is that more than 100 new restaurants opened around town this year, and Eater has a list of all the highlights, from a Jewish bagel shop on Sandy to a burger bar on Mississippi. (Eater)
If you’ve heard that Oregon’s foster care system is in crisis, our friends at Every Child Oregon have a message: You can be part of the solution.
Every Child works across the state to make sure children have a stable, supportive home while they’re in foster care, whether it’s for one day or several years.
With Every Child’s support, we spent this summer digging into reader questions about the foster system, like how much training foster parents receive and how the education system can better support foster kids.
🎹 See The Chainsmokers play at Moda (NE Portland)
🤠 Take a line dancing lesson - every Thursday (Vancouver)
🧀 Taste fondue at Elephants Deli (NW Portland)
🌙 Shop at the Portland Night Market - through Sunday (Central Eastside)
🎄 Take a holiday tour of historic homes (SE Portland)
🏀 Cheer on the Blazers vs. Los Angeles (NE Portland)
🎸 Go to a Chris Young country concert (NE Portland)
🇬🇧 Celebrate the holidays with English traditions (Clackamas)
🍪 Make your own gingerbread house (Downtown)
🎁 Shop our Oregon food + drink marketplace and support local entrepreneurs – give more food, less stuff! Save the date: Sat, Dec 7th Noon - 6:00 @ The Redd (Partner)
🇸🇪 Ring in the holidays like a Scandinavian - through Sunday (NE Portland)
🍅 Fill your pantry with local produce (Central Eastside)
🎥 Watch a doc about Japanese internment (NE Portland)
🎻 See the Portland Cello Project in action (SE Portland)
🐶 Get a photo of your pet with Santa (Central Eastside)
💃 Take a beginners tango class (East Portland)
🎬 Play trivia all about holiday films (SE Portland)
😬 Hear true Portland dating stories (NE Portland)
📖 Hear a book talk about "revolutionary love" (NW Portland)
🙈 Wear your ugliest sweater to a bar (Central Eastside)
🚢 Catch the Christmas ships in Milwaukie with Santa (Milwaukie)
Don’t blink or you might miss it — the sun is expected to peek through the clouds today, but with sunset happening at 4:27 p.m. this week, it won’t stick around for long.
Rain or shine, doom or gloom, we’ll see you tomorrow. 👋